Skip Navigation
NPR News
Amitav Ghosh's 'Sea of Poppies' ()

Caste, Colonialism And A 'Sea Of Poppies'

by Jacki Lyden
Nov 9, 2008 (All Things Considered)

See this

Amitav Ghosh

Hear this

This text will be replaced
Launch in player

Share this


Explore this

Reported by

Jacki Lyden

At its heart, Amitav Ghosh's epic novel, Sea of Poppies, is a book about seeking freedom and renewal in breathtaking, daring ways.

Written in a polyglot language of 19th-century sailors — where Hindi and English mixed freely — the novel tells the stories of a disparate group of seafarers aboard a former slave ship that has been retrofitted for the opium trade and its human cargo.

Ghosh is a native of Calcutta and speaks five languages. His love for India rings through here — as do his verbal gifts. His efforts are swashbuckling, and his ship, the Ibis, is the most pulsing, heart-rending literary ship to plough the seas since Ishmael climbed the riggings of the Pequod. After a while, you'll be rocking between all these languages, too — and hoping the Ibis casts off soon for volume No. 2 of this trilogy.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Read an excerpt

Read full story transcript

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments

on:

NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.